'Massively blown out of proportion' - Rob Baxter on Luke Cowan-Dickie's move to Montpellier

Exeter Chiefs hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie is currently out injured

Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby Rob Baxter says stories surrounding Luke Cowan-Dickie's proposed move to Montpellier have been "massively blown out of proportion."

It has been reported that the Exeter hooker missed a medical with the Top 14 champions after being stopped by police in France for "public drunkenness" in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The England international hasn't featured for the Chiefs since sustaining an injury in January and he is set to depart Sandy Park this summer along with some of Exeter's other star names including Montpellier-bound Sam Simmonds.

"There's been something that's been massively blown out of proportion," Baxter said on Thursday.

"He hasn't failed a medical. He hasn't not turned up for a medical. I think he's popping over to France again just to finish off a couple of bits the French would like to investigate around a couple of his injuries. I believe they (Montpellier) want some more information on the nerve damage around the last operation.

"I'm not saying it is completely pie-in-the-sky [the reports] because everything has a little bit of something behind it, but as far as he has not turned up and they've torn up the contract and thrown it away, that is not the case.

"Did he have a drink in a bar at some stage? I would say probably yes. Outside of that, there's probably a fair bit of journalistic licence [that] has probably been added to a few things that have happened.

“All I know is Luke has said there has been a fair bit of over-hype around everything. At this stage, Luke is being told everything is okay. Reports it is all done and his contract is over couldn’t be further from the truth."

If Cowan-Dickie's proposed move to France didn't come to fruition, Baxter admitted Exeter would do all they can to help the forward in his recovery from injury.

The hooker not only has his club future to think about but also the World Cup which is rapidly coming into view. Cowan-Dickie missed the entirety of the Six Nations due to an ankle injury and the Exeter boss couldn't put a timeframe on how soon he could be back.

Baxter added: "He has been a very important player for us. He has played in some significant games for us. We would look to do something to look after him.

"The nerve issue is a timescale one. Historically, they can take a long time or you can recover quickly. It is a bit ‘how long is a piece of string’?

“I know England are investigating if there is anything they can do to speed up the process, as we are, but it is not a problem that has a definitive answer."